Randy Evans may be leaving Houston, but for the next six months you can still enjoy the line of hot dogs he designed as part of the "funky dog" series hosted by JCI Grill (formerly James Coney Island).
Now through the end of the April customers will be able to sample the first of Evans' funky dog creations: The Colombian. This truly funky frank features a choice Wimmer's Red hot dog ensconced in a toasted King's Hawaiian roll and loaded with bacon crumbles, pineapple relish, garlic, mayo-ketchup (that is to say, mayonnaise and ketchup mixed together; Will Ferrell fans know it as "fancy sauce"), queso fresco, green onions, and, (WOW!) crushed potato chips.
This salty-sweet, juicy, crispy beast with lovely botanical top notes is just under $6 dollars, a more than fair price for a hot dog that successfully hybridizes ball park flavors with tropical tastes.
And while you're at JCI, check out some of their fun new side dishes developed as part of their evolution from old-school "coney island" to modernized "grill."
The garlic cotija fries, served in a cup rather than a bag for easy access when driving, boast an earthy flavor that's borderline addictive. Lighter but equally enchanting is the napa cole slaw. Comprising crisp napa cabbage, sweet chunks of apples, and toasted sesame seeds, it's a far cry from the over-sauced sludge common to many fast food joints
My personal favorite, however, is the elotes "corn in a cup," a rich mess of shaved corn on (or rather, off) the cob, sour cream, chile lime powder, and cotija cheese. It's creamy in texture, butter in flavor, and has just hints of citrus. JCI, please sell me this corn in an industrial-size cup.
Is April the cruelest month? Not at JCI, where the Colombian Dog and nouveau sides set the tone for fine frankfurter dining.